Immagini della pagina


CHAP. V. Sbewing the MISERIES of the UNCONVERTED. O unspeakably dreadful is the case of every un

converted foal, that I have sometimes thought, if I could but convince men that they are yet unregenerate, the work were upon the matter done.

But I fadly experience, that such a spirit of floth and Number (Rom. xi. 8. Mat. xüü. 15.) poffefseth the unfanctified, that tho' they be convinced that they are yet unconverted, yet they often times carelessly fit ftill; and what through the avocation of sensual pleasures, or hurry of worldly business or ncise and clamour of earthly cares, and lufts, and affections, Luke viji. 14. the voice of conscience is drowned, and men go no farther than some cold wishes, and general purposes of repenting and amending, Aas xxiv, 15.

It is therefore of high neceslity that I do not only convince men that they are unconverted, but that I also endeavour to bring them to a sense of the fearful misery of this ftare.

But here I find myself a-ground at first putting forth. What tongue can tell the heirs of hell fuffici. ently of their misery, unless it were Dives's in that fame? Luke xvi. 24. Where is the ready writer whule pen can decypher their misery that are“ with “ out God in the world?” Eph. ii. 12. This cannot fully be done, unless we know the infinite ocean of that bliss of perfection which is in that God, which a state of fir doth exclude men from. “ Who knoweth (szich Mofes) the power of thine anger ?" Psalm

And how shall I tell men that which I do not know? Yet so much we know, as one would think would shake the heart of that man that had the least degree of spiritual life and sense.

XC. 11.

But this is yet the more pofing difficulty, that I am to speak to them that are without sense. Alas! this is not the least part of man's misery upon him, that he is dead, tark dead in trespasses and fins, Eph. ii. 1.

Could I bring paradise into view, or represent the kingdom of heaven to as much advantage as the tempter did the kingdoms of the world, and all the glory thereof, to our Saviour; or could i uncover the face of the deep and devouring gulph of Tophet, in all its terrors, and open the gates of the infernal furnace, alas ! he hath no eyes to see it, Mat. xiii. 14, 15. Could I paint out the beauties of holinels or glory of the gospel to the life; or could I bring above-board the more than diabolical deformity and ugliness of sin, he can no more judge of the lovliness and beauty of the one, and the filthiness and hatefulness of the other, than a blind man of colours. He is alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in him, because of the blindness of his heart, Eph. iv. 18.; he neither doth nor can know the things of God, because they are {piricually discerned, 1 Cor. ii. 14.; his eyes cannot be savingly opened but by converting grace, Afts xxvi, 18.; he is a child of darkness, and walks in darkness, 1 John i. 6.; yea, “ the light in him “ is darkness," Mat. vi. 23.

Shall I ring his knell, or read his sentence, or found in his ear the terrible trump of God's judge. ments, that one would think should make both his ears to tingle, and strike him into Belshazzar's fit, even to appal his countenance, and loosen his joints, and make his knees smite one against another? Yet, alas ! he perceives me not, he hath no ears to hear. Or shall I call up the daughters of



mufic, and fing the song of Moses and of the Lamb? Yet he will not be stirred. Shall I allure him with the joyful sound, and lovely song, and glad tidings of the gospel; with the most sweet and inviting calls, comforts, and cordials of the divine promises, so exceeding great and precious ? It will not affect him savingly, unless I could find him ears, Mat. xiii. 15. as well as tell him the news. Which

way Thall I come at the miserable objects that I have to deal with? Who shall make the heart of stone to relent? Zech. vii. 11, 12, or the Lifeless carcase to feel and move? That God alone that “is able of stones to raise children unto

Abraham,” Mat.iii. 9.; " that raiseth the dead," 1 Cor.i. and “melteth the mountains,” Neh. i. 5. and strikes water out of the flints, Deut. viii. 15.5 that loves to work like himself, beyond the hope and belief of man; that peopleth his church with dry bones, and planteth his orchard with dry sticks; he is able to do this. “ Therefore I bow my knee “ to the most high God," Eph. iü. 14. and our Saviour prayed at the fepulchre of Lazarus, John xi,

38. 41. and the Shunamice ran to the man of God for her dead child, 2 Kings iv. 25.; fo doth your mourning minister kneel about your graves, and carry you in the arms of prayer to that God in whom your help is found.

“ Othou all-powerful JEHOVAH, that worketh se and none can hinder thee! that haft the key of of death and hell, pity thou the poor souls that lie “ here entombed, and roll away the

grave-stone, “ and say, as to Lazarus, Come forth ; Lighten so thou this darkness, O inaccessible Light, and let sf the day.spring from on high visit the dark re

“gions of the dead, to whom I speak, for thou “ canst open the eyes that death itself hath closed : “ Thou that formedst the ear, canft restore the “ hearing : Say thou to these ears, Epbpbatha, and “ they fhall be opened, Give thou eyes to see thine “excellencies, a taste that may relish thy sweetness,

a scent that may savour thy ointments, a feeling “ that may discern the privilege of thy favour, the "burden of thy wrath, the intolerable weight of “ unpardoned fin; and give thy servants order to “ prophesy to the dry bones; and let the effects of " this prophesy be as those of thy prophet, when “ he prophesied the valley of dry bones into a living “ army, exceeding great," Ezek. xxxvii. 1, &c.

But I must proceed, as I am able, to unfold that mystery which, I confess, no tongue can fully unfold, no heart can thoroughly comprehend. Know, therefore, that while thou art unconverted,

if," The infinite God is engaged against thee." It is no small part of thy misery that thou art with, out God, Eph. ii. 12.

How doth Micah run cry« ing after the Danites, “ Ye have taken away my gods, and what have I more?Judges xviii. 23, 24. O what a mourning then must thou lift up that art without God, that canft lay no claim to him without daring usurpation! Thou mayeft fay of God as Sheba of David, “ We have no part “ in David, neither have we inheritance in the fon " of Jeffe," 2 Sam. xx. 1. How painful and piercing, a moan is that of Saul in his extremity! • The Philistines are upon me,” and “ God is departed from “ me!” 1 Sam. xxviii. 15. But what will ye do, O finners, in your day of visitation! Whether will ye

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



ffee for help? where will you leave your glory? Ija.

X. 3. What will ye do when the Philistines are ? upon you; when the world shall take its eternal leave

you; when you must bid your friends, houses, and lands farewell for evermore? What will ye do then, I say, that have no God to go to ? Will you call on him? Will you cry to him for helpi Alas! he will not own you, Prov. i. 28, 29.; he will not take any notice of you, but sends you away with “ I never • knew you,” Mat. vii. 23. They that know what it is to have a God to go to, a God to live upon, they know a little what a fearful misery it is to be without God. This made that holy man cry out, “ Let s me have a God, or nothing. Let me know him *** and his will, and what will please him, and how 5. I may come to enjoy him ; or would I had never ** had an understanding to know any thing," &c.

But thou art 'not only without God, but God is against thee, Ezek. v. 8, 9. Nahum ii. 13. O! if God would but stand neuter, though he did not own or help the poor finner, his case were not fo deeply miserable, though God should give up the poor creature to the will of his enemies, to do their worft with him; though he should deliver him over to the tormentors, Mat. xviii. 34•; that devils should tear and torture him to their utmost power and skill, yet this were not half fo fearful. But God will set himself against the finner; and, believe it, “ it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," Heb. X. 37.; there is no friend like him, no enemy like him: As much as heaven is above the earth-Omnipotency above impotency-Infinity above nullity so much more horrible is it to fall into the hands of the

[ocr errors]
« IndietroContinua »